Timing is everything in technology and Ciscoâ€™s purchase of Flip Video in 2009 for $590 million was probably about as bad as it can get.
Originally released by Pure Digital Technologies in 2007, the handheld video recorder enjoyed initial success through its simplistic point-and-shoot format and the fact it could fit in your pocket. Buoyed by that success, Cisco purchased the company but just as it did so, the smartphone explosion took place and with technology advancing so fast, it wasnâ€™t long before smartphones were offering the same video quality as the Flip cameras â€“ but with a whole load of extra features as well. Just yesterday we saw the HTC Sensation which will allow you to capture full HD 1080p video.
The closure is part of a wider restructuring of Ciscoâ€™s consumer division and the company expects the financial impact of the closure on Cisco will be up to $300 million this year. It will also mean the loss of 550 jobs by the end of 2011. However while this is sad news for the Flip video family, on a bigger scale it is barely a bump in the road for Cisco. It employs some 73,000 people worldwide and last year saw profits rise by 26 percent to $7.8 billion. John Chambers, Cisco chairman and CEO said: "As we move forward, our consumer efforts will focus on how we help our enterprise and service provider customers optimize and expand their offerings for consumers, and help ensure the network's ability to deliver on those offerings."
Only last week we reported on Ciscoâ€™s update of its FlipShare software for the cameras and the company has said it will continue to support the platform through a â€œtransition plan.â€ While it is sad to see the Flip Video disappear altogether, it was inevitable that it was going to happen unless the range could offer the end user more than just video recording. For those of us who have a Flip video recorder, hang onto them as they may become collectors' items all too soon.